How Gun Control Affects the American’s Point of View
John R. Lott once wrote, American culture is a gun culture? (Lott 1) . On December 15, 1791 the second amendment to the United States Constitution became a law and made it legal for all people in the United States to own a firearm. However, people have evolved since the 1700’s. Today, the news is constantly filled with crime and violence using guns. People are injured from guns what seems along the lines of almost every day. All of the violence and hatred portrayed by the media has created fear in some of the American people. The result of the fear has led to the debate over gun control laws. The topic of gun control seems to become more controversial as the years go by with the increasing number of public shootings. Although the topic of gun control is very controversial, there is no need for the regulations in the United States.
The second amendment of the United States Constitution states, A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed? (constitute project). America is based off of the freedoms our founding fathers gave us. With the addition of gun control laws, the government would be infringing on one of the freedoms set in place for the American people. In John R. Lott’s book, More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control laws, he discusses how the idea of gun violence started from books, movies, and television shows. He goes on to talk about how there is a slim amount of people who have witnessed someone being threatened or even injured from a gun. This could not be more true. A large percentage of American citizens have only had experience with guns and formulated opinions about them through media. Many have not even used a gun, let alone watched someone being assaulted with one.
One other reason why gun control laws are not necessary is due to the fact that gun laws do not stop crime; gun ownership stops crime. In theory, if a person was going to break into either a house where the owner had assault weapons, or a house where the owner did not own any assault weapons; the intruder would most likely choose the house where the owner does not own a gun. Therefore, clarifying the impression and proving a point that gun laws will not decrease crime rates. A study conducted by Mark Gius in November of 2013 concluded that states with rigorous gun restrictions led to higher gun-related murders. Each state is different with their gun laws. For example, In Chicago Illinois, the gun laws are more intense than in some other states. They still have an extremely high crime rate despite their rigorous gun laws. So, in spite the fact that Illinois has demanding gun laws its neighboring state, Indiana, does not. So, nothing can stop the people in Illinois from simply traveling across state lines to Indiana to get a gun.
Guns are used for self-defense 2.5 million times a year (Chris Cox). Safety is one of many Americans main priorities. Guns are not often used for self-defense, but they easily could be. Unfortunately, the police can not protect everyone all the time. By enforcing strict gun laws or even removing guns in general, it would revoke the American people’s sense of safety. According to Nelson Lund, The right to self-defense and to the means of defending oneself is a basic natural right.? People deserve the right to defend oneself if he or she should happen to feel threatened.
Gun control laws that ban assault rifle, such as an AR-15, would encroach the right to own guns for sports. Hunting is a popular sport that requires assault weapons. Hunting is used by many for fun and also for a source of food. According to a survey conducted by the United states Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011, there were 13.7 million Americans at least 16 years or older who hunted. There was also approximately $7.7 billion spent on hunting equipment such as guns, ammunition, and sights (National Survey-2011 Survey). By implementing gun control laws that ban assault weapons would not only cut back on sports, but it would also reduce the amount of revenue pouring into the economy. Not only do assault weapons help sportsmen, but they also help agriculturists. Feral hogs are a major issue in the midwestern United States. These type of animals are brutal and extremely destructive. Feral swine can cause up to $1.5 billion in damage to just one ranch (Olvera). Many farmers look to assault weapons like an AR-15 to protect themselves, their family, and also their lively hood from such brutal animals.
To continue the argument over why gun control is not needed in the United States, implementing gun control laws will not stop criminals from accessing guns. John R. Lott said, The problem with such laws is that they take away from law abiding citizens, while people, criminals, ignore them.? The harsh reality of it all is that bad people with bad intentions will find a way to do bad things. If gun control laws are put in place it will not protect the people; it will only put them in even more danger.
The largest reason why people are opposed to gun control laws is because it gives too much power to the government. Wayne Lapierre, from the National Rifle Association, said, if you look at why our founding fathers put the second amendment into place, they had lived under the tyranny of King George and they wanted to make sure that the new country would never be conquered again and never live under tyranny.? With the implementation of gun laws would be taking away one of the freedoms Americans are given and also straying away from the Founding Fathers beliefs.
Although there are many reasons why gun control laws are unnecessary, there are a few benefits of gun control laws. Understandably, the second amendment gives people the right to own a gun, it doesn’t give the people the right to own an unlimited number of guns. The large gun collections seem pointless and unnecessary. The reason for the amendment itself was to protect the new colony from harm. The people needed a militia, an army, to protect the colony from people wanting to inflict pain and suffering upon them. However, we Americans are the only ones inflicting the pain upon ourselves. All of the mass shootings that appear on tv come from those who seem to be ordinary Americans.
The enforcement of gun control laws could assist in lowering the number of deaths caused by guns. Between the years of 1999 and 2013, there were approximately 464,033 deaths due to guns. Suicides accounted for 58.2% and homicides accounted for 37.7% (CDC). The American Journal of Public Health conducted a study that discovered, legal purchase of handguns appears to be associated with a long-lasting increased risk of violent deaths.? It is understandable why people are opiniated about enforcing laws restricting gun and gun usage. Eliminating guns, or even making it more difficult to obtain them would decrease the amount of lives lost due to a fire arm.
Another controversy about the usage of guns is the high capacity of magazines. Senior Vice President of public safety for Shot Spotter, David H. Chipman, said, A high capacity magazine turns a killer into a killing machine.? The high capacity magazines allow for more rounds to be shot at high speeds. This results in more bullets being fried from the gun faster, without the shooter having to reload. Magazines can be found to hold anywhere from 30 to even 90 rounds. Many gang members use magazines to atone for a lack of accuracy and an opportunity to boost the harm caused (Winston). In reality the need for such large magazines is nonexistent. The only need for extremely large magazines, such as 90 rounds, would be for the men and women serving in the armed forces.
Even though guns can be used for safety purposes, women do not necessarily carry them or even feel safe being around them. The elimination of guns would play a major role in protecting women from threats such as rapists and stalkers. Women are murdered by guns every day in the United States. According to The Connection between Domestic Violence and weak Gun control Laws, a women’s chance of being killed increases by 500% if a gun used in a domestic dispute. Therefore, the emphasis of gun control laws is understandable in the efforts of keeping women safe. However, if women are disparately scared, then they will take precautions to protect themselves.
Unfortunately, guns are rarely used in self-defense. Self defense is one of the main arguments of why gun control is not needed, however truly guns are hardly ever used for self-defense purposes. Between the years of 2007 and 2011, the amount of crimes occurred was 29,618,300. However, only .79% actually protected themselves with a gun (Firearm Violence). This is unfortunate because guns can be a great self defense mechanism. Concealed carry licenses are an excellent way to not only ensure the safety of yourself but also others. In order to get a concealed carry license, a person must first pass the course. The fact of the matter is, is that people would rather not put in the effort. Murder rate drops by 3%, rape by 2%, and robbery by over 2%, with each additional year that hand gun laws are in effect (Lott). When guns are used for self-defense the amount of crime goes down.
One other benefit of gun control laws would be the fact that most legal guns are stolen. A yearly average of 232,400 guns are stolen (Langston). Between the years of 2005 and 2010, 1.4 million guns were stolen from homes and cars (Langston). In theory: with the enforcement of gun control laws, there would be less guns on the market for criminals to steal. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Criminals are not law abiding citizens and if they have the will to do horrible acts, they will find a way regardless of what the law states. If the government implements gun control laws, then it will just be making it more difficult to get guns or it will take them away from the citizens who abide by the rules and regulations concerning guns.
The reality of it all is that opinions differ. There desperately needs to be some give and take in situations that encompass controversial topics such as gun control. The problem is, is that in todays society opiniated individuals are not willing to give in tough situations. The fact of the matter is, that for every pro to the situation there will always be a con. Not everyone will reap the benefits of saving their farm by eliminating destructing animals like feral hogs, but then again not everyone loses a family member in a mass shooting either. This results in the constant arguing and bickering among the American people which reflects on the strong will of the America. The only solution to the problem is for Americans to come together and develop a solution to the ongoing dispute over gun control laws.
In conclusion, the cons out weigh the pros of gun control. There are many uses and reasons to have guns in the United States. Sportsmen, Farmers, Ranchers, and everyday Americans all have a use for them whether they know it or not. However, not everyone sees the benefits. Many people are blind sighted by biased media who never fails to report only one sided views of things. Owning a gun is not only a right the founding fathers gave to the American people, but it is also a privilege. Guns provide a sense of safety and a sense of control which is what some Americans need. As there is no definite right or wrong view of gun control, it is a freedom we were given that we should ultimately utilize for the greater good.